Local 983

DOT Highway Repairers Help Staten Island Driver in Fatal Crash

July 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Two fast-acting DOT workers helped rescue a driver from a burning SUV in a fatal crash July 10, on the Staten Island Expressway. The Department of Transportation crew was making road repairs Saturday around 8:30 a.m. on the Brooklyn-bound highway leading to the Verrazano Bridge. “The SUV was traveling in the high-occupancy lane on the left when it hit the wall with such force that it crossed three lanes and stopped near the work zone where we were,” said Assistant City Highway Repairer Michael Sasso, a DOT employee since 2013. “It happened so fast. How no other cars were hit is a mystery.” Sasso and coworker Eusi Pickering, a Local 376 Highway Repairer, ran to the wreckage to find an unconscious driver slumped across the front seats of his Buick. Sasso said, “The OnStar operator called 911 as we worked to figure out what to do.” The SUV started to leak [More...]

Local 983 Enrolls 1K+ New Parks CSAs

July 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS   Local 983 is working around the clock to build union membership in a massive campaign to enroll 1,500 new City Seasonal Aides. The Parks Department hired the CSAs to clean up public parks across the five boroughs. “Our grievance reps are working 15-hour days in order to get these newest Parks employees to join the union,” said President Joe Puleo. Since June, the local has signed up about 1,000 members as part of their all-out effort. During the COVID-19 lock down, New York City residents are using neighborhood parks, beaches and boardwalks, urban forests and nature trails more than ever. These greenspaces are essential to the well-being of New Yorkers seeking reprieve from the confines of their apartments and homes. But in 2020 and throughout the pandemic, public parks quickly became overrun with trash and debris. DC 37 Executive Director Henry [More...]

Parks Worker Saves Kid from Coney Island Jetty

June 1, 2021 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A quick-acting City Seasonal Aide saved a stranded boy and the bystander attempting to save him, pulling them from the jetty at Coney Island Beach on May 22. It was one of the first seaside rescues of 2021. The scorching 89-degree temperature that day drew hundreds of people to the famous Brooklyn boardwalk and into the surf to cool off.   “Part of my job is to patrol the shoreline and keep people out of the water since City Lifeguards are not on duty yet,” said CSA Andre Cruz, a five-year seasonal Parks employee. City Lifeguards start work Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. About 6 p.m., Cruz saw a man and a boy on the jetty. The boy’s mother yelled for help. Her child was stuck and so was the bystander. Cruz radioed for help and started the long walk out on the dangerous jetty.  “I made my way out about 50 or more feet. I had to [More...]

Parks Workers Help Homeless Sisters Get Safe Shelter

June 1, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Two Burmese sisters, who were homeless in New York City for over 12 years, are now in temporary housing thanks to the care and persistence of two Parks Department workers.  Parks Enforcement Officer Odelia Lee of Local 983 and Captain Cynthia Thompson of SSEU Local 371 worked together to successfully relocate the two sisters to a Lower East Side hotel at the end of March. But getting the two women to accept help and city services was a journey that spanned far beyond the eight miles separating the Upper West Side’s Verdi Square Park from the Lower East Side.   Lee and Thompson were assigned to assist and develop a rapport with these homeless sisters in February. They usually work in Queens parks but traveled to Manhattan for this special assignment. “It took a lot of patience and persistence over the two months. We visited them two or three times a week [More...]

Rally for Parks Funding, Jobs

May 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS At a virtual rally today, the Play Fair Now Coalition consisting of DC 37, New Yorkers for Parks, and the League of Conservation Voters, as well as parks advocates urged the Mayor to restore $84 million in funding for city parks. New Yorkers relied on public parks more than ever in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visits to city parks, green spaces, beaches, trails and wetlands were up 64 percent.  Still last year the City drastically reduced the Parks and Recreation Department budget. Parks eliminated hundreds of unionized jobs, including Urban Park Rangers, Seasonal City Aides and PEP Officers, Gardeners, Pruners, City Parks Workers, Debris Removers and Park Attendants, who protect park goers and clean and maintain grounds. All told about 1,700 seasonal and permanent Parks jobs went unfilled in 2020.  Volunteers cleaned local parks in their communities but [More...]

Important DC 37 September Events

September 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

Join Local 983, DC 37, SSEU Local 371, other Unions and elected officials at the RALLY for JOBS and VITAL CITY SERVICES    WHEN: Thursday Sept. 3, 10 AM WHERE: Foley Square, Lower Manhattan Tell the Mayor and Lawmakers: ESSENTIAL WORKERS ARE NOT EXPENDABLE WORKERS! DO NOT BALANCE the BUDGET on the BACKS of CITY WORKERS! PROTECT THE WORKERS WHO PROTECT NYC IN EVERY CRISIS! STOP the LAYOFFS! Join the fight SEPT. 3 to SAVE 22,000 city jobs. Please Wear your DC37 Green Tee Shirt and Hat. EVERYONE Is Required to Wear Your Mask! NO EXCEPTIONS! #EssentialWorkers are #NOTExpendableWorkers  ### JOIN DC 37 on FACEBOOK LIVE WED. SEPT. 9 at 6 PM  Join DC 37 Executve Director Henry Garrido on Facebook LIVE Sept. 9 at 6PM as he gives up-to-the-minute information on the Mayor’s proposed layoffs of 22,000 city workers, and what DC 37 is doing to press the state Legislature and City Hall to save [More...]

Parks Rangers Axed in Foul Budget Move

August 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Fifty Urban Park Rangers were chopped June 30 as New York City entered a new fiscal cycle in what union leaders say is a misguided response to the nationwide call to defund police. “Urban Park Rangers are part of the Parks Department. They are Peace Officers who teach people and their children about nature, the ecology, plants and wildlife in city parks for free,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo. “They add to the safe enjoyment of public parks and urban forests. They are part of Parks community outreach. And as essential workers they distributed masks and information to protect lives even as the COVID-19 pandemic peaked.” “So why, ” he asks, “did these dedicated public servants lose their jobs?” Former NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, an ex-ranger hired when the program was first created in 1979 and who rose [More...]

Local 983 to Albany Legislators: Approve Short-Term Borrowing to Save 22,000 Jobs

August 13, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS  More than 100 members of Motor Vehicle Operators Local 983, went to Albany August 13 to urge state lawmakers to block the proposed layoffs of 22,000 NYC public employees. “The proposed layoffs will hit some of the lowest-paid municipal workers in New York City,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo, “the same workers who are essential and on the frontlines in New York City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Puleo organized the rally for his members to see first-hand the political bureaucracy that goes into saving their jobs. Local 983 represents more than 3,000 NYC Asbestos Handlers, Assistant City Highway Repairers, City Seasonal Aides, Associate Park Service Workers, Motor Vehicle Operators, Traffic Enforcement Agents Levels 3 & 4, Urban Park Rangers, Associate Urban Park Rangers, High Pressure Plant Tenders, Motor Vehicle Operator Supervisors, [More...]

Nightmare Ends With Citizenship

January 29, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Almost seven years to the day his immigration nightmare began, Local 983 member Jose Molina began 2020 with the oath of citizenship. His family, union leaders, and a cadre of immigration lawyers and supporters witnessed the swearing-in ceremony at Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan Jan. 17. “I am just so happy and thankful that this day has come and I am finally an American citizen,” Molina said. He came to the United States as an infant and faced deportation to Panama for a crime he committed and served time for more than 20 years ago. Molina, an Associate Parks Service Worker, was initially detained in 2013 after an early-morning raid of his home by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He was arrested again after he reported to immigration court to comply with a judge’s orders. DC 37 monitored his immigration case and fought on his behalf in union [More...]

Historic disability rights victory creates hundreds of DOT jobs

November 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In recognition of his fight for the rights of disabled New Yorkers that has led to the installation and maintenance of thousands of curb ramps throughout the city, DC 37 Local 983 recently honored Joseph V. Stulberg, a resident of Henry J. Carter long-term care facility in Harlem. Stulberg inspired the 1994 class action lawsuit against New York City to enforce compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was settled in federal court on July 23, 2019. “We moved to Brooklyn but whenever my son Joe left the house in his wheelchair he was landlocked. He could not leave our block. It was impossible to get his wheelchair off and on the curb,” said Michelle Green, an associate director in the union’s Research and Negotiations Dept. Her husband, attorney Robert Stulberg, led the case for his son and Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (now the United [More...]